A Coaching Power Tool By Mofoluwaso Afolakemi Ilevbare, Executive & Life Coach, AUSTRALIA
What’s the Difference Between Friction vs. Cohesion?
Which ICA Power Tool do you think is the most powerful? Why?
Studying the ICA power tools has been very eye-opening and has given me a broader understanding of how, as a coach, I can help my clients make the shifts they desire in life. It was hard to choose one, but I find “REFRAMING PERSPECTIVES” a powerful tool in helping the client “unbox” himself/herself, detach from the actual situation, see what’s not being seen or observed, and in the process be able to make a mindset shift to a bigger purpose. When we’re going through a frustrating situation or we find ourselves boxed in, many times all we see is the “box” and the players in it, but if we took just a step back outside of the box, we can view the world from a different perspective and I believe that’s the bedrock power tool. With powerful listening as a coach, I can help the client discern if they’re believing an empowering/dis-empowering perspective so they can evaluate how that’s working for them or not. Not waiting for an event to shift our perspective can help us go far more and be more in life. A perspective dictates one route. Reframing it creates more options.
In your experience what is the single thing that MOST gets in the way of clients achieving the goals they set for themselves?
No one size fits all but in general from my experience coaching clients, what most gets in the way of clients achieving their goals is the fear of failure. “What if it fails or doesn’t work?” is a popular statement. This perspective visualizes the presence of a big dark huddle in the way of the client’s dream and until the positive picture of what’s possible is greater than what’s not, the client cannot move forward.
If you could shift the thinking or beliefs of every client you coach in ONE way what would that be?
I would create a calm and trusted space and invite them on a journey to “enlarge” and become part of something bigger than their current predicament/situation so they can move from “I Wish” to “I Will” and be unstoppable at work and in life.
What is the most powerful perspective you can apply to any challenging experience?
What would my favorite hero(oine) think, be, or do if they were in my shoes right now?
Consider a significant recent event or situation you or someone around you experienced. Look for the perspectives held by those involved. Consider the following exploratory questions:
- What challenges and/or successes were involved in this experience?
- What perspectives or beliefs were present in the circumstances?
- Were challenging circumstances transcended with a change of perspective or point of view?
- How did you or those around you change the way they perceived matter and, as a result, experienced an improved mood (embodied beliefs), found new choices, and took new action?
Choose a Perspective
With your reflections from step one in mind, consider a point of view that limits possibilities creating a ‘stuck feeling’ that inhibits growth, self-awareness, or opportunity for taking action and moving forward.
Examples: fear, scarcity, insecurity
Now consider a more empowering perspective or attitude to the one chosen above. It doesn’t have to be the exact opposite point of view – just one that is more likely to create new ways of thinking and creative actions.
Examples: trust, abundance, adequacy.
Describe and Define
Define and/or describe each of the perspectives you choose. You can do this in any order you prefer – starting with one perspective and then the other or going back and forth between the two to make the distinction.
My Power Tool: Friction vs. Cohesion
Have you ever been in a situation where you had to take an action, your head wants to go in one direction but your heart pulls you towards something else? You feel a tugging on the inside or as some may call it “a hole in your stomach”. Your mouth is moving but you wish the words were different. If the circumstances were different or more in your control, you probably would have taken a different stand. You want to travel the world but you’re reminded of the raging father that needs you back home. You want to go home and tuck in your kids but you’ve got a deadline paper to submit before you leave the office. Your actions create friction between your physical, emotional, and maybe even mental state and can cause some level of stress or guilt. Does it sound familiar?
Friction is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “conflict or animosity caused by a clash of wills, temperaments, or opinions.” Friction involves a misalignment of moving parts against each other and when this happens, it creates heat which you may also term as tension. It can show up as a constant headache whenever that issue arises, or a feeling of guilt, or tempers flying all over the place or feeling like a fraud. In the case of my client, it presented itself as guilt and betrayal.
Naomi was a single mum, recently separated from her husband, living in a foreign country, and dealing with the challenges of a new course of study. Her life was in chaos as she struggled to deal with her own emotions, a mix of defeat and loss, the emotions of her little girl who only wanted to know why her daddy was no longer around. She had invited her mother over to help her cope with all the moving parts around her while she tried to avoid being cut from her scholarship for lack of competence but that only made matters worse. As she sat in my office and cried her eyes out, I grabbed another pack of tissue and handed it over to her as I waited patiently in silence, creating the non-judgemental safe environment she needed at the moment.
When she could speak she bursted out loud “I can’t take it anymore! I just can’t take it anymore! My mum’s got to go. She’s only worsened matters since she arrived. She was meant to be a help but right now I can’t deal with her shenanigans as much as I’m angry and want her to leave I also feel guilty that I’m betraying my mum and just throwing her out. My heart feels at war with my mind right now. What do I do?”
Cohesion is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “the act or state of sticking together tightly.” It is the uniting together of particles of the same substance. It can be likened to the human body, soul, and spirit aligning together, bringing cohesion into your life, thus stabilizing or balancing your being. Aligning the spiritual aspect of yourself with the mental, emotional, physical, and social state can create congruency and the inner power to conquer any situation. You feel confident in yourself and it shows through your abilities and actions. One of the keys to life balance and inner peace is creating an internal cohesion within ourselves which then manifest outwardly and helps to guide our daily choices of what we let into our lives and how we respond vs. react to life situations that present themselves. Having a higher level of awareness of why we feel the friction within us and creating the alignment that leads to more positive and intentional choices is key to happiness.
Through power listening and powerful questioning, Naomi was able to identify that the friction she was feeling could be resolved if she looked at the situation using a different lens. She loved her daughter. She loved her mum. She loved her new job. She wanted all three in her life along with inner peace and happiness and the friction she felt shut one or two of them out.
As we worked together, she was able to articulate the reasons behind the friction and feeling of guilt/betrayal she felt and truly began to appreciate the help her mum was trying to provide in her own way. She created the time for a retreat and heart-to-heart discussion with her mum on how to work better together in the house and share the love of her daughter and granddaughter. By identifying the roles she wants to take on in her life, she was able to eliminate unwanted emotional baggage and free up space for the things she loved.
She went further to create a shared weekly routine, with her mum and her daughter, which had adequate room for playtime, study time, and mummy’s private time to accommodate both their needs for connection and her need to study for her exams. She was also able to build in thirty minutes of meditation and gratitude walk three times a week which she used to reflect, destress, and replace harmful thoughts with empowering ones. For the first time in years, she booked an appointment at the nearby spa she always eyed on her way home and created a collage for her kitchen wall to continually remind her of her blessings.
Today, Naomi still has the people she loves in her life but feels the cohesion of love, family, and a successful career. She smiles more, recently received an award at her place of work, and also now networks with her girlfriends once a month.
When we are in friction within ourselves, we experience feelings of being stuck, unsure, stressed, feeling guilty, or unworthy but when our spirit is aligned with the physical, emotional, mental, and social dimensions of our lives, we experience cohesion and freedom that brings happiness, authenticity, and peace.